Andre Ethier is on the trading block

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UPDATE: Rosenthal says the Dodgers have “zero intention” of trading Ethier, but will listen. He says two teams have inquired.

October: The Dodgers are interested in trading Andre Ethier!

November: No, the Dodgers are not interested in trading Andre Ethier.

December: The Dodgers are interested in trading Andre Ethier:

I don’t doubt that the Dodgers would actually like to trade Ethier, but he’s got an ugly contract, even by late 2012’s increasingly crazy standards. L.A. owes him $85 million between now and 2017. This for a guy who turns 31 next season.  If anyone wanted Ethier, they’d be better off just signing Nick Swisher themselves.

Which doesn’t mean he’s untradable. For one thing — as one of my Tweeps notes — a free agent like Swisher may nit wish to go to a place like, say, Seattle, so if the M’s wanted his like, they could do a deal for Ethier. And of course, L.A. could kick in a lot of money in any Ethier deal.

Still seems pretty unlikely anyone would bite, but stranger things have happened.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.